BY MIKE DOLAN at Reuters
China’s summer shock may mark the end of an era of globalization that helped define world markets for more than a decade.
Investor anxiety about the consequences is well-founded.
Beijing’s integration into the global economy since 2002 reshaped the financial as well as economic landscape – mainly by the way China itself and the economies it supercharged with outsize demand for raw materials banked the hard cash windfalls they earned over the following 12 years.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the dollar value of foreign currency reserves held by all developing nations ballooned by almost $7 trillion in just one decade to a peak of some $8.05 trillion by the middle of last year.
While China was the main driver, accounting for about half of that increase, its economic boom created a commodity supercycle that flooded the coffers of resource-rich nations from across Asia to Russia, Brazil and the Gulf.
As the vast bulk of this hard cash was banked in U.S. Treasury and other low risk, rich-country bonds, they were at least one critical factor in the halving of U.S. Treasury and other Group of Seven government borrowing costs over the same period.
Alongside the disinflationary impact of China’s low